A special Aikido Thursday

28 01 2012

Thursday morning and afternoon I had a couple of very nice Aikido experiences here in Biella!

Thanks to Ivano, main instructor in Aikikai Biella dojo, in the morning I joined him and a few of his students for a special class of aikido as self defense in a local high school, where 99% of the students were 19 years old girls!! (actually there was one boy in the class, and everybody of us was surprised!!)

Aikido - school girl class

Saying the group reminded me the people that came to my Aikido lesson in Hefei, also here most of Aikido basics were skipped and Ivano had been showing them only basic ushiro ukemi and then moved to some more interesting application of personal defense from hand lock attacks (katatedori, both gyaku hanmi and ai hanmi). Girls always like these kind of applications that led to nikyo locks or the “mirrored” gyaku kotegaesghi (the one gripping kotegaeshi from below, typical for example from ryote dori attack).

During the class Ivano then decided to show what one can do after learning the other Aikido basic, mae ukemi for example, and he spent some time throwing me around! Best time for me, and quite funny to hear the girls expressing surprised “ohhhh”‘s at some of the more demanding (and fun) falls. Being then more surprised I was not injured, even with more “frightening” koshinage throws! Aikido - school girl class

In the night, my special day continued with teaching a session in Ivano’s Aikikai Biella dojo.

First time for me to teach Aikido in Italian!!! And that made me very nervous!!!

In fact, now and then during the session I let some English words get out..

My lesson at Aikikai Biella

As for my usual one time teaching sessions, as did before at the first Vestlandet Aikido seminar in Norway or when briefly invited to different dojos, always especially in Norway, I introduced some of the old basic “rabbit hands” concept from Endo sensei. But before that, especially for emphasizing another important concept in the Aikido I like, meaning the way that uke moves, walking like a baby. For this I used one very nice kokyuoho version of Jorma Lyly sensei (Vanadis Aikido dojo), where tori‘s hand performs a screwing movement setting uke in motion and then extending the arm the very moment that uke starts walking (lifting the foot, uke becomes “light”, therefore easy to control and throw – timing for an effortless technique execution!).

After that I moved to Endo sensei‘s way to use hands and wrist, relaxing and extending.

My lesson at Aikikai Biella Introducing the concept starting from ushiro ryote dori static grip, it is always easy, giving the chance to uke to perform a strong and sure grip. At the same time, when tori properly relax and manages to raise the wrist in “rabbit fashion”, ie. keeping shoulders down and elbows glued to the upper body, lifting uke‘s arms become effortless, even when the partner is asked to push downward.

Using then the same movement, I worked some throws from a tenchinage application, both from katatedori and from ryote dori attack, trying to emphasizing the relaxed way to move the hands, even when uke grips at full power.

For closing with some more “action”, we worked on katatedori uchi kaiten nage ura version, performing, after the uchi kaiten entrance, the cutting down of the attacked hand keeping the hand very close to the upper body and rotating at the same time the hips (like also Irie sensei and many other senseis I enjoy). Emphasizing the control of the collarbone once uke is bent down and while entering the irimi tenkan for ura, instead of just pushing uke‘s head downward (as down in the old times), caught the interest of the more advanced people on the mats.

Just for showing how effective is the control of the collarbone, I performed a couple of times the very direct shomenuchi soto kaiten nage in Tissier sensei form, where he enters completely the attack and goes straight to the collarbone control bending the intern arm around uke‘s head, stepping behind him and starting the irimi tenkan roation in almost one movement (ok, he does it in one fluid movement, I do it at 10% of speed in several smaller steps!!)..

And after that, we went to eat a delicious pizza and have a longer martial art chat, best way to finish every training!!

Looking forward to my next chance to visit these nice people!!!

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28 01 2012
Vivere a Biella » Blog Archive » A special Aikido Thursday « Dreaming of… Asia

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